Petition calls on govt to support self employed

Tuesday 7 October 2014

A petition calling on the government to give self employed professionals more support has been launched.

In the lead up to National Freelancers Day, which takes place on November 19th, the petition has been started, with an outline of ways that politicians can help sole traders, limited companies and other self employed people move forward.

The petition is led by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), which says that, with the self-employed sector currently standing at 4.6 million according to the Office for National Statistics, it is now more important than ever for politicians to throw their support behind these workers.

Chief executive of IPSE Chris Bryce said: "The number of Britons choosing to take control of their own destiny is growing by the minute and the way we support working people in this country needs to adapt to keep up.

"This petition outlines a series of bold yet realistic ways that politicians can help independent professionals to get on. We're asking anybody who works for themselves to throw their support behind this petition and show Westminster just how many people would benefit from the changes we are calling for."

As people in self employment account for 15 per cent of the workforce, Mr Bryce says that this means they deserve representation at the top table of Parliament. As such, it calls for a Minister for Self Employment in government who will lead the sector.

In addition to what the petition asks of the government, it also calls on self-employed people to support measures to improve infrastructure in the UK. For example, Mr Bryce explained, better broadband and cheaper travel are key for people who are just setting up a business. He says that this is an opportunity for self employed people whose business is hampered by poor connectivity to tell the government.

The petition also addresses issues surrounding late payments and asks the government to take action against this, creating a level playing field where payments are prompt regardless of the size of a business.

Mr Bryce stated: "It simply isn't right that the smallest businesses have to wait months for payment from their clients."

More support for self employed parents is called for in the petition too, particularly as the number of mothers who are their own boss has increased by 55 per cent over the last five years. Mr Bryce pointed out the unfairness of the fact that self employed parents receive less government support than those who are employees.

IPSE will deliver their petition, which reflects some of the points outlined in their previously drawn up manifesto, to the government on National Freelancers Day (NFD) 2014.

This year's NFD is the sixth ever, which was put in place to celebrate the increase of freelancers. A number of events will be held across the UK and online to talk about the positive and negative sides of self employment.

The headline event will take place in London in Tech City, while Manchester and Edinburgh will also be hosting their own celebrations.

By Victoria McDonnell

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